McLaren Hint at Possible F1 Role For IndyCar Drivers

With McLaren set to return to full time IndyCar competition next season, team CEO Zak Brown has strongly suggested a role within the Formula One outfit could be on the cards for one of their young IndyCar drivers.

The link between McLaren and the former Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports IndyCar squad has potentially opened up new opportunities for McLaren Racing in Formula One, with both young IndyCar drivers scheduled to race for the team next season in with a shout at getting seat time with the manufacturers Formula One effort in 2020, according to CEO Zak Brown.

2020 will see the stateside element of McLaren fielding two young rookies during their debut IndyCar campaign, 2019 Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew teaming up with his championship predecessor Pato O'Ward at the newly branded squad.

McLaren potential IndyCar Drivers 2.jpg


With both drivers embarking on the early stages of their top flight career (O'Ward is 20 and Askew 22), Brown has indicated a current lack of a junior driver programme at the British squad could pave the way to some seat time in Formula One for their IndyCar drivers:

"While the projects are separate (F1 & Indy), they complement each other commercially and we don't have a young driver under contract for 2020," Brown said whilst speaking to motorsport.com. "So I wouldn't be surprised to see one of those guys in one of our F1 cars around a rookie test."

Confirmation that the team are considering the two IndyCar drivers will come as a blow to current team 'young driver' Sergio Sette Camara, the 21-year-old Brazilian F2 racer currently holds the junior role within the team, but hasn't done much to impress the outfit in recent years after a couple of lacklustre seasons in the F1 support category - despite currently holding fourth overall in the standings heading into the season finale at Yas Marina later this month.

McLaren Potential IndyCar Drivers 3.jpg


The recently confirmed 2021 F1 regulations stipulate each team must run a young driver for a set number of days throughout the season, with the next available opportunity being the season closing Abu Dhabi test in early December.


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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.
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Knoxstar

250RPM
Yeah pretty mum about turfing Hinchcliffe after most of the rides have dried up. McLaren has brought F1 backstabbing to Indycar. When fellow drivers and competitors in Indycar like Graham Rahal and Ryan Hunter Ray as well as Conor Daly talk about how dirty this deal is one has to wonder what changed? Oh right, Zak and McLaren.

Don't get me wrong, Hinch had a less than stellar year but he also had a contract and reassurance that he was returning for 2020. My congrats to the new drivers, it's not on them. Apart from that I've been hoping Lando and Carlos do well this year. But Zak, Arrow and Smyth Peterson have a bit of a PR problem at the moment.
 

aka2k

500RPM
From the team that had the likes of Senna, Hunt, Prost and Hakkinen. That's depressing.
 
Yeah pretty mum about turfing Hinchcliffe after most of the rides have dried up. McLaren has brought F1 backstabbing to Indycar. When fellow drivers and competitors in Indycar like Graham Rahal and Ryan Hunter Ray as well as Conor Daly talk about how dirty this deal is one has to wonder what changed? Oh right, Zak and McLaren.

Don't get me wrong, Hinch had a less than stellar year but he also had a contract and reassurance that he was returning for 2020. My congrats to the new drivers, it's not on them. Apart from that I've been hoping Lando and Carlos do well this year. But Zak, Arrow and Smyth Peterson have a bit of a PR problem at the moment.
It could all be down to money.Hinchcliffe might have been paid by Honda,Honda is out so McLaren need to start paying him.Young driver comes along & they can pay him peanuts.The Marshall Pruett podcast will probably reveal what actually happened.
 
I cannot help but think McLaren will be very apt at using their Indycar branch to circumvent some of the future budget restrictions.
 
Zak Brown sounds like a total bull****er and out of his depth when he speaks on F1 coverage. McLaren should focus on getting out of midfield mediocrity before running in other series too.
 

Richard Hessels

1000RPM
Premium
Zak Brown sounds like a total bull****er and out of his depth when he speaks on F1 coverage. McLaren should focus on getting out of midfield mediocrity before running in other series too.
You might have noticed they are getting there. Don't forget where they were a 2 years ago. They we driving against the back of the field. Happy to score just a point.
 
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